Holy Guardian Angel Parish


 In 1856, the Catholic settlers of Sanfordtown leased a tract of land on the Horse Branch Creek and built a Catholic school. The priest in charge of the congregation at that time was the Reverend Odilo von der Green, O.S.B., of St. Joseph’s Church, Covington. He and Father Columban, O.S.B., attended the sick calls and said Mass occasionally in the homes of the Catholics. In 1860, when the Covington and Independence Turnpike was being built, the log house used for the school and chapel burned down. A tract of land was then bought of Campbell Ellis. In April, 1864, a newly erected church building was dedicated by Reverend Ferdinand Kühr, pastor of Mother of God Church, Covington. At that time the school had an enrollment of seventy-three children, under the care of Miss Mary von der Green. In 1866, Bishop Carrell assigned Father George Watson to the care of the mission of Sanfordtown and of other stations of Kenton and Boone counties.

 Three years later, in 1869, Reverend D. Beck, a priest of the Erie Diocese, who was making his home with the Benedictine Fathers at St. Joseph Priory, was appointed the first resident priest of Sanfordtown. Shortly afterwards, he built a pastoral residence and an addition to the church. In 1877, Father Beck made plans for a new church, and proceeded to lay the foundation. In the meantime, Father Beck was succeeded by Reverend L. Neumeier, who remained pastor for several months. In the spring of 1878, Reverend Joseph Haustermann was appointed to the pastorate of Sanfordtown. After many hardships, the cornerstone of the new church was laid on May 19, 1880, by Very Reverend Eberhard Brandts, V.G. A large concourse of people from all parts of the county, numbering several hundred, gathered on the hillside in front of the rectory at the site of the church to witness the ceremonies. The event was made colorful by the Knights of  St. George who graced the occasion in uniform and with a band.

 In 1885, a new church was dedicated under the patronage of Holy Guardian Angels. At that time the Sisters of St. Benedict went to Sanfordtown to take charge of the parish school, and the following year the old school building was remodeled.

 In 1880, the Decoursey mission, which had been established by the Reverend William Robbers while pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Central Covington, was placed under the care of the pastor of Sanfordtown. In 1884, Father Haustermann enlarged the church at Decoursey.

 In 1894, Reverend Joseph Schaefer was assigned to Sanfordtown. At that time, since the parish was free of debt, new improvements could be made on the church, which as yet had not been entirely completed. In 1906, Reverend Clement A. Keller was appointed pastor of Holy Guardian Angels Parish, continuing in that pastorate until 1917. Towards the end of his eleven-year pastorate, Father Keller met with an injury while engaged in his pastoral work, which eventually rendered him incapacitated for parish work. On October 1, 1917, Father Keller resigned from the pastorate of Sanfordtown, making his home with Mr. And Mrs. Joseph H. Averbeck, Fort Mitchell, where he lived until his death, April 1, 1928.

 During Father Schaefer’s pastorage (1894-1906), many improvements were made on the parish property. He completed the church, and remodeled the sanctuary which had been out of proportion with the body of the church. In 1899, he likewise erected the present priest’s house. In 1906, Father Keller purchased two and one-half acres of land to add to the parish cemetery. In March, 1909, the old school was torn down and plans were made for the building of the present school. On November 21, 1909, the new school was dedicated.

 During the pastorates of succeeding pastors, the church plant has been renovated and embellished. The church on a number of occasions has suffered extreme damage from floods. Reverend John T. Jobst, the present pastor, has served Holy Guardian Angels Parish since June 13, 1949. The Sisters of St. Benedict teach in the parish school. The parish at present numbers about seventy families.



excerpted from History of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Diocese, 1853-1953, by Rev. Paul E. Ryan